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I know that is what people learn but it seems to me it actually adds more problems than what it solves.
People jump in the water but then hang in the surface, why? I hear it is an opportunity to “re-group” what? 2 seconds ago you were in a vessel and there is a need to re-group? Say whatever you need to say before jumping and go on with the dive.
With surface current I actually find this protocol of jumping with inflated BC borderline dangerous. Why waste the energy from the giant-stride/backroll/whatever, when it can actually be all you need to get below that surface current. Instead you see people struggling to overcome those first few feet. Among several causes for this difficulty: they don’t completely deflate their BC because it isn’t easy to do stuff in the surface, if anything it is the perfect location to feel over tasked.
Remove ALL the air from the BC, breath the reg. while looking at the gauge to assure there is air in the bottle and the valve is truly open, look where are you going to jump and splash. If something is weird stop around 10 feet or so and figure things out. As long as you have air (which you assured before the splash) it is a lot less hectic at 10 feet than at the surface, especially if it is choppy. Even easier if there is a down line to hold on while fussing with the gear. Hopefully after some experience there is no fuss needed and when you go splash you actually do what you meant to do to begin with: go diving.
Maybe to wait for a buddy to splash in? Not sure what the rush is to get below. So what if someone wants to hang at the surface for a bit. Maybe some just need to relax prior to slipping under. If you are getting overtasked on the surface while floating then your doing something wrong.
Yes, it seems as if a "hot entry" should be okay. However, take this example (from "Lessons for Life", Scuba Diving Magazine.)
A diver made a hot entry to remove a snagged anchor. Simply put, he didn't unsnag the anchor, and he didn't return to the boat, either. Turns out, in his haste to don his gear, he didn't turn on his tank. Residual pressure apparently allowed him to take a breath or two, but by that time he was in the water and descending. There eveidently wasn't enough air in the system to inflate his BC, and before he could reach back and turn on his tank, he was either too far or panicked to do anything about it.
Another case that comes to mind was a diver who did a hot dive from a vessel. It was protocol to retrieve camera equipment from a line lowered over the side. It was a bit choppy, the diver got too close to the boat, and the hull whacked him on the head. He was stunned, and only the quick actions of divers watching from the surface saved him. Had everyone been doing hot dives, it is likely that no one would have noticed the problem until it was too late.
These are only examples of an accidents that never should have happened, of course. The real tragedy was that since everyone knew it was a hot dive, they didn't know anything was amiss until it was far too late.
In my opinion (not high valued, by any means), it only takes a moment to bob to the surface, make certain all is in order, signal Ok to the boat, and then descend. Any potential problems with gear would most likely be apparent in the time it takes to dump air and head down.
I have some serious equalization issue sometimes related to allergies. I like to take my time on the surface. I'm usually the last one to descend. Please don't leave me all alone on the surface.... Please
1. As a new diver, a divermaster or Capt/owner whatever may want to see an 'OK' sign so he knows you're doing good and not heading for the bottom with an issue that he could have helped with on the surface.
2. Regrouping with your buddy when you're new is a good idea so you can descend together and not start off seperated.
3. To control the deflation of the BC to control the descent...matching skill to the dive.
3. To let the angry divers descend first so I can stay out of their way.